Sunday, October 21, 2012
Venus Williams wins Luxembourg Open title
Venus Williams beat Monica Niculescu 6-2, 6-3 to win the Luxembourg Open title.
Williams played steady tennis while Niculescu proved error-prone as she sought her first career title.
Throughout the 1-hour, 22-minute match, Williams rarely looked in trouble, taking the early initiative and never letting go.
Venus was very solid in her backcourt game as Niculescu looked hesitant from the start and failed to get any momentum going.
"I had to work so hard to get to the final - the match against Andrea was so challenging, and the two matches before as well, and even my first round I had to stay really focused," Williams said. "Monica was in her second final here so she obviously feels really good on this court. You have to hit five, six, seven shots more than usual. It can be frustrating. She's tricky. You have to be ready."
"The score looked easy but the first set was 6-2 and like 42 minutes!" Williams said. "You have to put a lot of balls back in the court against her. It was back and forth, back and forth - I knew I just had to stay focused and keep fighting.
"Coming to the tournament this week I was just trying to play well. I didn't know if I could win this event, so to stand here as the winner is a wonderful way for me to end the year, and it really makes me look forward to next year as well."
"My main goal coming here was to make the Top 32 and be seeded going into the Australian Open. I hope I'm somewhere in the Top 32 now. But wherever I end up, it's just very rewarding to win here after facing a lot of challenges."
The former world number 1 started her season in March following a seven-month layoff because of the illness.
She hasn't made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam since the 2010 U.S. Open but the first signs of improvement came when she reached the semifinals in Cincinnati in the run-up to the U.S. Open despite some back problems.
She was ousted in the second round at the U.S. Open, but in her first tournament since, she finally ended her title drought.
AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert